He Said, She Said (1991)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Feb 22, 1991 (USA)  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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A terrific idea for a "battle of the sexes" film -- a man directs the male-centered scenes, his real-life significant other directs the female ones -- results in a surprisingly low-key affair that's less than hilarious. Lacking is a sense of palpable attraction between leads Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins. Both do their best with characters that are under-realized: Bacon's generically named Dan Hanson is too heavy on the boorish cad, while Perkins' Lorie Bryer is shrill, hysterically unreasonable, and romantically desperate, the offensive male stereotype of a working, single woman. Meanwhile, the script, which already contains the structural conceit of shifting points of view, foolishly inserts such bland, yawn-inducing ideas as fantasy sequences and cookie-cutter romantic rivals (hers is a sweetly understanding listener played by Anthony LaPaglia, his is a sexpot played by Sharon Stone -- how creative). The filmmakers fashion a scenario they clearly did not intend, in which the audience may well wish for the leads to never end up together. The concept of a romance between a liberal and a conservative is an intriguing and contemporary one for a comedy, but neither He Said, She Said nor the later, reality-inspired Speechless (1994) manages to pull off the concept successfully.